Waris Shah’s Heer Ranjha is one of the definitive works of the Sufiana tradition, often described as the Punjabi Romeo and Juliet. An epic love poem set in 18th-century undivided Punjab, its profound yet enchanting verses are a treasure trove of Punjabi phrases, idioms and sayings.
At the centre of the Heer is a message of romantic love as an expression of the mystical love of the human soul towards God, the quintessential subject of Sufism. Transcending the religious and political gulf that has split the region over the last century, is it this universal theme of profound love that has continued to inspire and enchant audiences from across the cultural divide?
Our panel, made up of Punjabi poet and Heer expert, Mahmood Awan, Sikh faith advisor, Pritpal Singh, and playwright and poet, Avaes Muhammed, will bring both expertise and personal reflections to a poignant discussion of the origins of this iconic poem. Where did this story come from? What is it really about? And why is it that Waris Shah’s Heer stands above all others as the most popular and best-loved poem of the Sufi tradition?